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Typology of metalinguistic conflicts

Priority areas of development: sociology, humanitarian
Department: Laboratory of Linguistic Conflict Resolution Studies and Contemporary Communicative Practices

Goal of research: Description of the mechanisms and role models of metalinguistic conflicts in modern communication, as well as in historical perspective.


The project uses a variety of research methods and techniques. First of all, we should mention the methods of semantic and discourse analysis, as well as the methods of pragmatics related to the theory of speech acts, Gricean maxims, etc.. The project actively uses experimental methods, among which it is especially important to single out the corpus method, on which the study of language varieties, inaccessible to introspection, is based.

Empirical base of research

The main work is carried out with electronic resources, reflecting the current state and dynamics of language changes; such sources include linguistic corpora and texts from various sources, primarily those drawn from social networks. In addition, the work uses legislative documents.

Results of research

During the work on the project, the most important types of metalinguistics conflicts were identified. The main arena of their deployment are currently social networks and other sites on the Internet:

  1. spelling conflicts;

  2. stylistic conflicts;

  3. etiquette conflicts;

  4. political conflicts;

  5. conflicts centered around political correctness.

In the above classification, spelling conflicts are the most primitive conflicts. Often, the opposing side is not given the word. The conflict sites may not even intersect. The motto of such conflicts is “Write correctly!”. Even more common are stylistic conflicts. They pass under the sign of hatred: “I hate such a word, expression, model of verbal behavior.” Etiquette conflicts in general form are arranged as follows: “be polite, and now I will tell you what is politeness”. Political conflicts are usually associated with the status of languages or with individual words and are held under the slogan “this is our country, and we know how to speak correctly.” This type of conflict is especially important for the 1990s - early 2000s. A relatively new type of conflict are conflicts centered around political correctness: “don't you dare offend this minority”.

The examples above illustrate the typology of metalinguistic conflicts developed as part of the project work. The final report presents both a typology of conflicts and an analysis of individual cases: in particular, conflicts around the status of individual languages and individual linguistic phenomena.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

Research results can be used for various practical purposes, in particular when developing regulatory recommendations for Russian language teaching, as well as in preparing new school textbooks in Russian language, which will include not only spelling and punctuation, but also advice on correct usage and some information on general linguistics. Work on a textbook of this kind is presently being conducted by a team of authors under the guidance of M. A. Krongauz.


Piperski A. Evaluating measures of distance between corpora // International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. 2018. 
Галинская Е. А., Пиперски А. Ч. Причастия на -сь в русском поэтическом языке XVIII–XIX веков // Вопросы языкознания. 2018. № 5. C. 77-86. doi
Piperski A. Corpus Size and the Robustness of Measures of Corpus Distance, in: Компьютерная лингвистика и интеллектуальные технологии: По материалам ежегодной международной конференции «Диалог» (Москва, 30 мая — 2 июня 2018 г.). Moscow : Издательский центр «Российский государственный гуманитарный университет», 2018. С. 578-589. 
Луппова А. А., Сомин А. А. Конфликтная коммуникация с участием лингвистов-любителей в социальных медиа, in: Пересекая границы: межкультурная коммуникация в глобальном контексте. Москва : Государственный институт русского языка им. А.С. Пушкина, 2018. С. 179-180. 
Кронгауз М. А. Корпусные методы исследования сложных случаев полисемии, in: Методы когнитивного анализа семантики слова: компьютерно-корпусный подход.: Издательский дом ЯСК, 2019. С. 119-140.